Official Notification of Preliminary 2014-2015 Charter FIRST Rating

Word version

Important Accreditation Information

August 7, 2015

To the Administrator Addressed:

Subject: Official Notification of Preliminary 2014-2015 Charter FIRST Rating

Your charter school’s preliminary 2014-2015 Charter Financial Integrity Rating System of Texas (FIRST) rating is now available in the online Charter FIRST system. To access the Charter FIRST system go to the TEA Charter FIRST webpage.

Basis for Charter FIRST Rating

Your charter school’s rating is based on an analysis of the charter school’s financial data for fiscal year 2014 (the fiscal period ended June 30, 2014, or August 31, 2014, depending on the ending date of your charter school’s fiscal year). We determined your charter school’s rating using the financial indicators specified in 19 Texas Administrative Code (TAC) §109.1001(f).

Please carefully review your charter school’s preliminary Charter FIRST rating and the data associated with each of the seven indicators.

Opportunity for Appeal

If your charter school wants to appeal an adverse issue it identifies in the preliminary rating, your charter school may submit a written appeal with supporting evidence to the Financial Accountability Section. For the appeal to be considered, we must receive it by September 8, 2015. Send any appeal to the following address:

 Texas Education Agency
 Financial Accountability Section
 1701 North Congress Avenue
 Austin, TX 78701

The financial accountability rating system is required to apply the rules uniformly. Therefore, an error by a charter school in recording data or submitting data through the TEA data collection and reporting system is not a valid basis for appealing a preliminary rating and unlikely to negate concerns raised by the indicator.

Please see 19 TAC §109.1001(l) for the rules regarding the filing of an appeal. As stated in that section, we will consider only an appeal that would result in a change to your charter school’s rating.

Final Charter FIRST Rating and Required Reporting

We will issue final ratings to charter schools after we have reviewed any submitted appeals. Final 2014­-2015 Charter FIRST ratings are anticipated to be released in October 2015. 

Within two months of the release of its final Charter FIRST rating, your charter school must announce and hold a public meeting to distribute a financial management report that explains the charter school’s rating and its performance under each indicator for the current and previous year’s ratings. The report also must provide the financial information described in 19 TAC §109.1001(o)(3). We encourage your charter school to include in the report additional information that will be beneficial to stakeholders, especially information explaining any special circumstances that may have affected the charter school’s performance under one or more of the indicators.

The first of two required newspaper notices to inform taxpayers of the meeting must be published no more than 30 days and no fewer than 14 days before the public meeting. Your charter school may combine the meeting with a scheduled regular meeting of the board of trustees.

For full requirements related to the report and meeting, see 19 TAC §109.1001(o). For a template that your charter school can use in developing its financial management report, see the TEA Charter FIRST web page.

Accreditation Status

Please note that the TEA considers a charter school’s Charter FIRST rating when assigning an accreditation status, as required by the accreditation status rules in 19 TAC §97.1055.

Contact for Further Information

If you have questions about your charter school’s Charter FIRST rating, please contact me by telephone at (512) 463-0947 or by email at Yolanda.Walker@tea.texas.gov.

Sincerely,

Yolanda Walker
Manager of Financial Accountability
Division of Financial Compliance